M-Audio Fast Track C400 USB Audio
You can tell just by looking at its sleek black surface that the M-Audio Fast Track C400 is no ordinary USB audio interface -- it's a piece of hardware designed to encourage your creative flow. With well-spaced gain knobs and easy-to-see 8-LED ladder meters for its two phantom-powered mic/line/instrument preamps, the Fast Track C400 sports a decidedly desktop-friendly design. There's no need for a separate monitor controller; this interface lets you easily switch between two pairs of speakers while controlling your listening volume with a large, ergonomic knob. Tap the assignable Multi button once to start recording, again to stop, a third time to save your project, a fourth time to play what you've just recorded, and so on: you can program up to eight different commands to be carried out step-by-step each time the button is pressed. And since the C400 comes bundled with your choice of Pro Tools MP 9, or Pro Tools SE -- a simplified, 16-playback-track version of the industry-standard music production software -- you'll be ready to start making tracks right away.
Onboard DSP Reverb and Delay in the Headphones
With the Fast Track C400's built-in DSP plus M-Audio's MX Core software mixer, it's easy to dial in low-latency effects on your headphone mixes -- inspiring better performances from singers, guitarists, or anyone that puts on headphones and plugs into the C400. Thanks to the flexible software mixer, you can listen to a dry mix over your monitors while sending any of eight types of reverb or delay to a performer's headphones. And because they're powered by the C400 itself, these DSP effects won't bog down your computer's processor speed. In fact, M-Audio's powerful software mixer lets you route the inputs directly to the headphones, bypassing A/D converters entirely, for ultra-low latency while tracking.
Get a great overview of the Fast Track C-series with this video from Avid:
Built-in Monitor Switching for Building Better Mixes
Four 1/4" balanced analog outputs mean you can hook up two monitor pairs, or plug a stereo pair and a subwoofer directly do your C400. Within easy reach of the main volume knob on the C400's top panel are speaker select buttons to let you toggle between speaker pairs or listen with and without the sub, helping you build mixes that translate better in all listening environments. For even more monitoring flexibility, try plugging in your stereo monitors to the first pair of outputs, while feeding a headphone amp from outputs 3 and 4. You and an artist can now listen on your own separate headphone feeds -- great for situations when you can't use speakers, like when you're tracking a vocalist in the same room.
Start Recording Right Away with Pro Tools MP 9 or SE
The Fast Track C400 makes a fantastic 4-in/6-out interface for just about any DAW application, from GarageBand to Ableton Live. But if you'd like to get started with the industry-standard recording and production software, the C400 comes with your choice of Avid Pro Tools MP 9 software, or the simplified Pro Tools SE edition with built-in tutorials. Perfect for beginners on a budget, PT SE supports up to 48 kHz/24-bit resolution on 16 playback tracks. With two simultaneous audio recording tracks plus eight MIDI/instrument tracks, it's a great match for your C400's two analog inputs. And much like the full version of Pro Tools, the SE version comes with over 100 virtual instrument sounds, 20 effects processing plug-ins, and a 3 GB sound library. Want to expand your options? Choose your C400 bundled with Pro Tools MP 9 for 96 kHz sampling rate support, 48 playback tracks, third-party plug-in support, plus Pro Tools Beat Detective, Automatic Delay Compensation, and MP3 export.
-96 kHz/24-bit USB audio interface with 2 analog inputs, S/PDIF digital I/O, and MIDI I/O
- 2 front-panel 1/4" instrument inputs for your guitar or bass
- 2 phantom-powered mic/line combo preamps with XLR-1/4" input jacks and -20 dB pads to accommodate hotter signals
- Desktop-friendly design with easy-to-reach top-panel controls: preamp gain knobs, volume control, speaker select, headphone volume knob, and assignable Multi button
- 4 balanced analog outputs: A/B your mixes over two pairs of speaker systems
- Front-panel headphone output with independent volume knob
- Onboard hardware DSP: dial in reverb and delay to your headphone mix with near-zero latency
- Bus-powered over USB 2.0 -- no power supply required
- Includes Pro Tools SE, a simplified edition of the industry-standard recording, editing, and mixing software, complete with built-in tutorials
- Works with Pro Tools, Ableton Live, GarageBand, and more
Any USB audio interface can get sound in and out of your computer, and any pair of decent preamps can be a solid analog front end for your DAW. But the M-Audio Fast Track C400 is more than just an interface: it's designed to be an integral part of your creative process, with built-in monitor management, DSP reverb and delay for headphone mixes, and the assignable Multi button to speed up your workflow. Think about it: every sound you record, edit, or mix in your studio will go through your audio interface. It's the center of your studio -- so shouldn't it be a piece of gear that you'll love working with?
zZounds is an authorized dealer of M-Audio products.